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What did Indian Garment Exporters Learn from the Year 2018?

The situation is very bad. According to available data, there is almost no export this year. I don’t know about the future but this is a life-and-death situation for exports. For the last two-three years, business is only going down. I don’t know how long it will remain like this. At this moment, there is just no export at all. You never know what will happen next about the policies though. Govt. has to give incentives as the competitive countries are giving. Bangladesh has a minimum wage of 3,000 takas whereas, here in Delhi, its Rs. 14,000 thousand now. So these manufacturing costs are definitely affecting the business. Fabric is getting costlier even though there is no export business, Govt. policies are not favourable about drawbacks and GST refunds are not coming yet. I strongly feel these are the reasons behind the situation and in 2019 also it’s going to be the same. It cannot revive anytime soon.

Shashi Prakash Chopra, Rupy Fashions, Delhi.

Business has been a bit slow this year. We have a fixed client base and there has not been much of a rough phase. The Govt. policies are growing tougher. But the market has survived the demonetisation process and things are becoming stable day by day so I have hope for 2019 that the business will grow. In my opinion the upcoming election is also going to impact the market and it will be a positive impact only. I have hope for stability in the market now. India has bigger domestic market than Bangladesh so we should not forget that and focus to improve it. In export they might be better but that can be improved as well.”

Jai Pal Singh, Monash Apparels Private Limited, Noida.

The business growth has been next to nothing this year. It has been a very slow time for the market. The existing Govt. policies are not supportive at all. I see a pessimistic view for 2019 and, as of now, I am not very hopeful about it. I don’t think there is any short term solution regarding the market. I think long term revolution of going out of the norms to do business and all of these issues can only help. Our tax structure and everything is so unfavourable at this moment that I don’t think there is any chance of competing with Bangladesh. 2019 also is not going to be a good year. Maybe the scenario will be on the verge of revival by the end of 2019 but I don’t think the year is going to get any better.

Fahad Ikhlas, Sky Techno Craft, Delhi.

Business growth in textile sector is not really stable. Policy wise, government needs to support our industry on duty drawback and port congestion. We have lot of competition with China and Bangladesh. Import duty on man-made specialised yarn is very high. We are still making basic low value products but due to lack of inputs and resources we not able to challenge China, Taiwan and Vietnam for technical garments and fabrics. We talk about sports and performance wear but India is just making low-end basic products when it comes to man-made yarn (mainly poly and nylon kinds). If the same government retains power in 2019, it can be quicker in policy making but if a new govt. comes, it will again have to start from the scratch. I feel we have to stop thinking we will get low-priced business in future. That will all go to Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and other 3rd world countries. We have to start planning for niche and value added products. With China getting expensive and Vietnam’s labour shortage, it is an opportune time for India or Bangladesh. We have to see who will catch the bus this time. Hope we don’t get caught napping again like it happened when China was rising.

Akhil Seth, Versatile Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., Ludhiana.

We have cut down the cost and are only working for the customers who are paying the right amount of profit. As for the garment policies are concerned, we are hopeful that they would increase the drawback duty percentage. Now about 2019, all depends on the upcoming election. In our business nothing has changed, even after demonetisation, GST or anything. Nothing has affected us. The only thing we have done is to cut down the costs like decreased production capacity while outsourcing a lot. When you are in a big capacity factory then you have to do so many orders that are not counted in your profit percentage. So in the last two years we have taken care of that. I think the duty and drawbacks are favourable if you have the right customer. As far as our company is concerned, it is good enough. We are not targeting the big buyers anymore. We are happy with the small quantity business.

Neeta Yadav, Tharang Apparels, Delhi.

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